Getting a Face Tattoo

Lol, kind of. I’ll get to that in a minute.

One of the things I’m always trying to do is simplify my life. When it comes to beauty, as much as I love it, I need it to be as simple and fast as possible, otherwise I can’t justify it, and then I look like crabs, and I feel even worse. It’s a rotten cycle. When you have a chronic illness, you really have to prioritise things, eg: should I do my makeup, or have a shower? Can’t do both. Should I cook dinner, or do my assignment? Choose one.

So it follows that getting my sparse eyebrows, traumatised after years of over-waxing and experimentation, as well as hormonal insanity, tattooed, would go a long way towards helping me put that energy towards more important things.

Enter cosmeticfx – this is not a sponsored post, by the way.

I heard about them through Insta, and one of my friends had gotten her brows done by them and couldn’t recommend them enough! From the time I first started checking them out, it seems they’ve been really successful, as I had to make an appointment a few months in advance (which is also good, because it gave me time to save up, too!).

The actual process itself didn’t take too long, but overall it was about 2 hours – most of that time taken up with photos and measuring out the exact specifications for my new brows, which I really appreciate. It would be awful if someone just went ahead without looking at every angle, and being a perfectionist, I would have started to pick out flaws after a while. Narelle, my technician, is a fellow perfectionist, however, and I’m super happy!

Painwise, I could feel a couple scratches on one part at first, but soon I felt nothing. The only thing was the noise – it was literally like someone scratching in gravel! Such a strange feeling, but fine, really. I actually almost fell asleep.

The process is that you go get it done, they take some before and after photos and apply numbing cream, then you have to swipe over it with a wet cotton bud and some Bepanthen 3 times a day until it heals. After 6 weeks, there’s a follow up where they go over any bits that haven’t taken or have faded, for free! Mine healed within a week, and the super dark stage only lasted one day. So good!

I didn’t even realise they’d put these up on the @cosmeticfx insta until my friend messaged me all excited that I’d done it.

My eyes are super sensitive to light and any dust or touching, so you can see they’re a little red, but meh.  What the heck though, how insane are the brows! The difference…oh my gosh. Look at those fuzzy twirlers beforehand – they weren’t even real eyebrows! Just wispy feathers. Now I can actually go out without having done anything except BB cream if I want to. I swear, if I didn’t have to wear makeup, I….well, I probably still would, because it’s fun. But I’d bare my face in public a lot more, that’s for sure.

After having my touch-up done, I can honestly say it was one of the best investments I’ve made. If you’re able to and actually like the outcome, I would highly recommend it to my fellow sick girls or guys, because it saves so much time and effort, especially when you’re having a bad day. I can literally wake up and feel at least semi-decent when I’m having a flare, rather than feeling even more overwhelmed like how I was, feeling like not only do I at least have to put on BB cream, but I need to draw my eyebrows on perfectly and symmetrically. To a normal person, that sounds pretty pathetic, I know! But some days you have to get up and go out when even your prescription medication doesn’t even make a dent in your pain levels, so every little last bit to think of needs to be metered out.  It was a drain that is now unnecessary, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

This is how it all looks now, after the touch-up, with and without makeup (during a flare that reflected in my skin)

If you’re interested in getting your brows done, CosmetixFx is at 190 Varsity Parade in Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast, and their brows are $699 including the touch-up, which you can pay by Zippay or payment plan, too! Super convenient. Thank you Narelle!!

xo Lo

Why I Switched to a Korean Skincare Regime

This is somewhat of an embarrassing confession, since I am a qualified beauty therapist, but I have always struggled with my skin. As a child, it was eczema/psoriasis, worsened by wearing certain fabrics and dry Adelaide winters, and then it was acne. Like, really bad, teased for, bright red against super pale skin, acne. I know now it was because of hormonal issues like Hashimotos/PCOS, but I had no way of knowing that when I first started to experience problems.

When I was 11, I was prescribed an antibiotic for my acne, every day, twice a day, for about 4 years. Every time I went back to the dermatologist who brushed off my concerns, I was too shy to speak up for myself (something I still struggle with), and so I stayed on them. It utterly ruined my digestive and immune system and after a while I started to experience a whole lot of problems due to that, which I’m still trying to fix. If you’re wondering, it didn’t help my skin. At all.

That’s not what I’m writing about, though. What I’ve finally realised is that my skin never changed, really. It was always sensitive and dry, but the products I was using were dehydrating my skin and causing it to overproduce oil, hence the congestion. I thought: more oil? Need to cleanse more/deeper/harsher, right? Nope. That is a one-way ticket to dehydrating your skin, causing it to over-produce oil to counteract it.

In the past couple of years, as I experimented more with skincare and makeup, I found that I was reacting quite badly to certain exfoliants or changes in weather and diet, the most recent of which was entirely my fault, but I ended up having what seemed like an ‘opposite t-zone’: super dry t-zone, with normal skin on the rest of my face, where it was sucking up all moisture, including barrier creams, no matter how many layers I put on, while continuing to be flaky and painful. What??!! *insert Dali’s scream face here*

There are only two things that helped: remembering that I know what is best for myself, and Asian skincare – Korean in particular.

When I first heard about Korean skincare, I was like; “Tch, that’s way too many products, your skin won’t even notice the difference between one moisturiser and three/a serum/mask/sleeping pack”. BUT IT DOES!!! I cannot live without the products I’ve found, and steps I’ve started to take, and I was lucky enough (after doing much research) to find exactly what I needed on my first try.

Korean skincare, and asian skincare in general, seems to be a world ahead of their western counterparts, and it’s because they address specific skincare concerns, instead of a more general approach that has been typical in the west (although they are catching up – mostly by copying asian skincare trends). From demanding the best ingredients, to the least amount of irritation, sun protection, anti-ageing, etc, it takes a holistic philosophy. While there are specific concerns to be remedied, it’s a process that incorporates diet, sleep, overall health and wellbeing, in tandem with the actual products and usage. It’s all in the same vein of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Confucianism – prevention is better than the cure, and honouring your parents by taking care of your body, and something that was beaten into me studying beauty: it’s all about what you do everyday.

If you keep up good skincare habits everyday, or dietary habits or exercise habits, you can afford to skip this or that once in a while, or eat that doughnut *_* or whatever else. Likewise, it’s not about getting some fillers or botox after you’ve already developed lines – if you rely on quick fixes rather than a lifestyle you choose every day, no matter how much you pay for those ‘miracle cures’ for whatever issue, you’ll invariably have more to keep nipping and tucking, whereas someone who does keep up a daily habit suited to them will be able to achieve a much better outcome combining the two.

As always though: whatever works! If you find the most basic bar soap and water works for you, that’s fine! If you’re happy, you don’t need to change.

When I visited Japan in Winter, 2016, my skin freaked out, and the products I was half-heartedly using did not help. I know, I know, I should know better. In my defence, I don’t have a lot of energy at the best of times dealing with chronic illness, let alone being non-stop for two weeks in dry-ass winter weather, having packed no suitable clothes from my sub-tropical homebase. It took me over a month to get my skin to calm down upon returning, and I learned a very important lesson: to pay attention to my skin and my body, and not just keep blindly following something that worked for me in a different time or situation.

Photo one: Terrible, but it was the only one that illustrated what I’m talking about. Can you see the fine lines? What the heck?! I don’t even have them – they are literally just from dehydration O_O

Photo two: After using a more suitable regime and products for my skin concerns

I’ll be doing a series of posts on the regime I follow and the products I use and would recommend. My ultimate goal is yuri pibu: a Korean term for ‘glass skin’, or skin so clear and glowy it’s like glass, so that I never have to wear makeup again muahahah! One of the many things I’ve been discovering recently – I really hate the feel of makeup on my skin these days. I’m all about the long-term instead of quick fixes – and having limited energy, the less I have to do to get ready in the mornings, the better!

I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time but life (surgery, recovery, school, holidays and work) have gotten in the way. So, stay tuned!

Thanks for reading,

Lola xo